Watchable is probably as high as my praise for Tensai Ouji no Akaji Kokka Saisei Jutsu is going to get this season unless it seriously changes its tone. And yet, at the same time maybe watchable is enough. I can’t deny there was some fun this week and Prince Wein’s genuine anger after his subordinate is insulted plays out very well as does his frustration at once again having his plans weirdly succeed and yet not at the same time.
Episode 2 of Tensai Ouji kicks off exactly where episode 1 ended with Wein, Ninym and his meagre army of 5000 occupying the gold mine that they weirdly managed to take over. However it isn’t all smooth sailing as Wein learns that mine is almost spent so taking it was more or less a waste of time but abandoning it without gaining anything isn’t an option. So instead he opts to hold out while the enemy sends a force of 30000 against him in the hopes that he can force them to offer to buy the useless mine back.
Tensai Ouji no Akaji Kokka Saisei Jutsu likes to have Prince Wein’s plans go awry whether in the execution or the result.
Two episodes in and there’s definitely a clear pattern emerging in Tensai Ouji no Akaji Kokka Saisei Jutsu in that either Prince Wein’s plan will go off without a hitch but the result won’t be what he wanted, or the plan succeeds beyond expectations leading to an unexpected result and forcing yet more work upon the Prince who really does want to just laze about.
Last week he won the mine despite having no hope of success and this week he finds out it is worthless.
Anyway, the army raised against him, despite thinking they are quite clever and have overwhelming numbers, has clearly never thought through the notion of tactics in their life. The general repeatedly sends his men charging up the narrow terrain where superior numbers are nullified and finds himself repelled. He’s constantly out-manoeuvred and out-thought by Wein who really doesn’t seem to be doing anything all that unconventional.
I’ve mentioned this previous but Tensai Ouji no Akaji Kokka Saisei Jutsu reminds me of why writing a seemingly smart anime character is quite challenging. Either you genuinely have to have them do something exception, or everybody else has to be a complete moron. Tensai Ouji is clearly going for the moron approach.
What makes it even worse is that after repeatedly failing to take the mine the messenger who delivers the most ridiculous terms for peace you’ve ever heard and does so with the arrogance of the truly stupid insults pretty much everybody in Wein’s army and takes a particularly nasty shot at Ninym who is standing at Wein’s side. While most of this anime is pretty superficial in tone, there was a definitely moment of seriousness as Wein stilled and then carefully and calmly confirmed that the messenger was speaking on behalf of his general before wishing the general well.
There was something very ominous about Prince Wein’s well wishes and honestly I didn’t expect him to directly take the action he did next but it was interesting. If Wein would take a few more things seriously he could actually be quite the interesting character.
As it is we get a brief scene of someone discovering that Wein’s actually a military genius (I guess they needed to explain his easy successes). This is definitely a trap many writers fall into when trying to make their main character a genius. Having other characters tell us they are impressive doesn’t make it so. They actually need to do something impressive.
Anyway, the episode ends on an unexpected but foreshadowed note. Having committed so many troops to the failed attempt to reclaim the mine, the kingdom actually falls victim to one of their other neighbours. So again, Wein’s plan to hold the mine in order to sell it back to the kingdom has failed even though his military campaign was a resounding success.
Tensai Ouji no Akaji Kokka Saisei Jutsu episode 2 kind of leaves me feeling like this anime will be low-key entertaining for the season provided it doesn’t become too repetitious. If it leans in to some of its stronger elements it might even become kind of good. I’m not expecting much from it but this second episode at least made me feel a little more interested in the cast and where they might end up.
Images from: Tensai Ouji no Akaji Kokka Saisei Jutsu. Dir. M Tamagawa. Yokohama Animation Lab. 2022
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